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Rock Garden

: Chandigarh

It showcase a massive array of natural rock forms and stones.

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Chandigarh, the capital city of Punjab and Haryana is known as the best-planned city which is famous for its stylish structures and attractive gardens. Rock garden is the best among all the gardens because of its architecture is unique in its own may. This vast open air museum that showcase a massive array of natural rock forms and stones is situated on the northern fringe of the city centre adjacent to the Sukhna lake.

Sprawling over 64 acres, it is an epitome of creativity and innovations as it built from the industrial waste and thrown-away materials. More than 5,000 peoples visit this artistic creation each day. The garden also appeared on an Indian stamp in 1983.

Build by one man's effort, love, ingenuity and skill, it is a unique garden that consists of various art objects, which nestles amidst 20 acres of woods in the form of an open air exhibition hall, theatre trove and a miniature maze. There are no flowers or plants in this garden.

Nek Chand, who was the then Road Inspector in the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Capital Project conceived the idea of the garden. He collected natural material, urban and industrial waste and started the garden secretly in his spare time in 1957. He picked up the wastes and shaped them with his creativitys into human, animal or abstract forms. And this was accidentally discovered by the authorities in 1975 which by this time had already grown into a 12 acre complex of courtyards, each filled with hundreds of sculptures. Soon, the authorities suggest in a meeting that this garden is the most unusual and it should be preserved in its present form. The authorities took over and was opened to public in 1976.

The layout of the garden is built around the fantasy of a lost kingdom and it is a symbolic of royal ambience and humility. The entrance leads to courtyards where one can see rocks, broken chinaware and boulders pose like abstract sculptures. In the rock garden, one have to pass through a many doorways, low archways made from discarded bags of cement and each one opening into a new array of display lending an air of suspense and curiosity that gives the tourist an unusual experience. The garden is a curious maze of interlinking courtyards, twisting walkways and staircases emerging into valleys with crashing waterfalls or amphitheatres overrun by figures made of china shards.

It houses sculptures made from everything from clay to auto parts which have aided in creating a world of palaces, soldiers, monkeys, village life, women and temples. The garden is created sector by sector with rocks and discarded objects. No material is wasted, from discarded street lights to colourful wire, glass and even broken bangles, broken-art faces, burnt bricks, bottle tops, fluorescent lights, mud guard, sanitary were, crockery tin cans, broken glass, building waste etc.

The garden consists of fourteen different chambers, like the main court , poet's and musician's chamber, swimming pool for the queen, etc.

The other highlights are an open air theatre with proper state setting and a vast pavilion with a center stage where art and culture blend amidst rustic and exotic environs of the garden. Several prestigious performances have been staged in this small but very artistic and naturalistic open air theatre. The garden assumes a festive look during the Teej festival in August and holds a special attraction for tourists.

The Rock Garden of Chandigarh
Sector No.1, Chandigarh, India
Tel: +91 172 740 645
Summer opening hours
(1st April to 30th September)
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Winter opening hours
(1st October to 31st March)
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The rock garden is open all seven days of a week. Entry prices are Rs. 5 for adults and Rs. 3 for children.